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Free Childcare for 2 Year Olds

1. Help with Childcare Costs 2. Two year old Funding

2. Two Year Old Funding  

Free childcare is available for eligible two year old's which entitles them to 15 hours' funding per week, term time only.  You can also have a stretched offer of 12 hours per week over 48 weeks per year with childcare providers who offer this funding.  You can also split the entitlement between more than one provider, however it cannot be used over more than two sites in one day.  If you live across the border of Lincolnshire, you can still access free funded places in Lincolnshire and vice versa; you just will need to contact the local authority to discuss the application process for this.


Children are entitled to receive a free education place where their families meet any of the below criteria:
  • Who receive relevant benefits;
  • Child is "Looked after";
  • Child has an EHC;
  • Receive Disability Allowance 

If you are eligible and the entitlement has been confirmed, the funding will remain with your child until they turn 3 and are able to access 3 and 4 year old funding, even if your financial situation changes.  This is also the case if you change childcare provider, the funding will always follow the child.


When your child will be eligible:

Child Born Between

Will become eligible for free childcare 

1 January and 31 March

Start of term on or after 1 April

1 April and 31 August

Start of term on or after 1 September

1 September and 31 December

Start of term on or after 1 January 

To apply, families can complete the online form here:


What happens after applying for two year old funding? 

You will get an instant response regarding your eligibility.  If you are eligible, you can download the confirmation letter or show your child's ID number to your chosen childcare provider when discussing when you would like your child to attend.  You do not have to take all 15 hours — you can decide if your child wants to access less, but discuss this with the childcare provider to see what is available and what would suit you and your child's needs.  If you are wanting more than 15 hours, you will have to pay for the extra hours yourself; this can also be discussed with the childcare provider.

Once you have secured a place, your provider will ask to see a copy of your child’s birth certificate and ask you to complete a Parent/carer Declaration Form.  The Parent Declaration Form allows your child's details to be shared with the local authority, informing them about the child and how many hours they are attending.  The local authority will the pay the provider for the child's place.

You can check which childcare support option is best suited for you by looking on Childcare Choices.

All parents/carers can find out more information regarding the 2 Year Old Entitlement by contacting the Family Information Service, the EYE Team at Early Years and Childcare Support, any Children's Centre or by speaking to their child's Early Years Provider or Professionals involved with their child.

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